Bearded Sioux City officers raise funds, awareness to fight cancer
Many Sioux City police officers have put down the razors and shaving cream this month to take part in No Shave November, also known as Movember.
Beginning Nov. 1, the officers stopped shaving in an effort to raise funds for charity — specifically, the June E. Nylen Cancer Center for prostate cancer.
Usually, facial hair is restricted by a longstanding department policy designed to create a uniform patrol. Mustaches are allowed, but only if they’re neatly trimmed. Beards are normally off-limits.
“Some people can grow a good beard and some people can’t,” Chief Doug Young said.
Safety is another reason behind the policy. Gas masks, for instance, might not seal properly on officers with beards.
Officer Dan Hutton helped get the OK from Young to relax the facial hair policy during the month of November so that officers could participate in the Cancer Center fundraiser.
“The Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office did it last year and we thought it would be a good way to raise money for a good cause,” Hutton said.
Each sergeant on duty helps oversee the recruiting for the fundraising effort, including making sure everyone’s facial hair is kept looking professional, according to Sgt. Jay Hoogendyk.
Grooming and trimming are still very much allowed during the month.
Both officers were sporting beards for the event. Hutton remarked his beard made him appear younger instead of older. Hoogendyk’s beard was coming in as well.
“The majority of the officers are taking part, even (Young) is growing it out,” Hoogendyk said.
“I have three weeks of growth going on right now,” Young said.
Law enforcement expects to bring in more than $2,000 for the cause. Officers were asked to donate $30 or more to take part.
Some officers who are involved in military service couldn’t be allowed to grow facial hair — but some donated to the cause anyway.
“We’re glad we can do something like this,” Hoogendyk said. “It’s just another way we can help.”
All the officers will have to start shaving again after Nov. 30. A select few will be allowed to keep their beards for a few more days.
Young said the best and worst facial hair will be recognized at the end of Movember. Members of each shift will submit their own nominees who will be selected through a staff vote and announced on Dec. 2.